Workshop offers tools to interrupt racist behavior

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Author, playwright and performer Carolyn Gage will offer a workshop called “Interrupting Racism” at the Southwest Harbor Public Library on Wednesday, May 30, from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The idea to develop a workshop came from Gage’s sense of unpreparedness when she encountered those situations. “When people would say things that were offensive, I would sit there and hope someone else would have the courage to confront it,” she said. “Or, I would go home and think about all the clever things I could have and should have said.”

Gage, a theater professional, drew on her dialogue training to devise a technique for facilitating confrontations, keeping it simple, on point and effective. She will share those tools for interrupting racism at the workshop, which will offer an opportunity for role-playing and rehearsing the technique, which she said comes from a place of understanding.

“I think that instead of perceiving the confrontation as a personal attack, we could reframe it as a form of supportive coaching,” Gage said. The workshop has been offered at universities and national conferences in the United States and in Canada.

Gage is the author of 75 plays, musicals and one-woman shows. She specializes in nontraditional roles for women, especially those reclaiming famous lesbians whose stories have been distorted or erased from history. Retired now, she toured for 22 years in her award-winning play “The Second Coming of Joan of Arc,” teaching and giving lectures and workshops. She has taught at Bates College and the University of Southern Maine. She currently has plays being produced in Ireland and in Rome. In February, one of her plays will be workshopped professionally in New York. Visit

For more about the workshop, call the library at 244-7065.


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